translated and edited by Brett Larner
With a list of accomplishments over his 18-year career on the track and roads including a gold medal at the 2001 East Asian Men's Half Marathon, Kazuo Ietani (36, Team Sanyo Tokushu Seikyo) has announced that he is retiring from competition. Beginning in April he will focus on his work with the Sanyo corporation. The Mar. 2 Lake Biwa Mainichi Marathon will remain as his final race.
Ietani was born in Tatsuno, Hyogo. After graduating from Tatsuno Higashi J.H.S. he attended Himeji Shogyo H.S., where he made a name on the ekiden circuit. At Sanyo Tokushu Seiko he was the team's backbone, running the longest stage reserved for the best Japanese athletes at the New Year Ekiden.
He also had a wealth of international experience running on the Japanese National Team, sharing a joint men's-women's win with Mizuki Noguchi (Team Sysmex, then Team Globally) at the 2001 East Asian Half Marathon, placing 8th in the World Road Running Championships and taking 5th in the 10000 m at the Asian Championships. He ran a marathon best of 2:12:37 and won the 2008 Gold Coast Marathon.